“Chronically Positive” is a collection of essays for dealing with everyday issues. Whether those issues are as big as chronic kidney disease or as minuscule as a nagging honey do list. Marlon Ransom and his son Tyler take turns in a tete-a-tete discussion of different strategies for managing the challenges life can throw at you.
Marlon is a single father of two living in Los Angeles California. Tyler, his son, is a high school student who is dealing with chronic illness: kidney disease. The two document their struggles, their successes and their strategies. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu plays a large part in both their lives. Tyler has been training eleven years and is a blue belt. His dad is a purple belt. Over the eleven year period Tyler has trained at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, with Eddie Bravo downtown LA and Henry Akins in West LA. Both train under Cobrinha at his Wilshire Boulevard location.
The book is short with 75 pages, eight chapters and 29 pictures. Sprinkled throughout are pictures documenting their years training Jiu-Jitsu. It includes some simple tools like being your own medical advocate and more difficult ones like setting a deadline on nagging projects. Both authors use language that's light and easy to understand making the book a fast read.
Marlon and son Tyler come across to the reader as warm, honest and forthright. They don't squirm from the ugly parts and they don't embellish on the happier successes. The reader receives the benefit of two points of view, 25 years apart in age and experience.
This book is more about using a solid set of tools to deal with life than it is about kidney disease. I would recommend this book for young and old; sick and healthy. Who can’t use a few more tools to deal with life?
Elite Sports is rather new in the market and are looking to make a splash with their first entry, a lightweight gi advertised with pre-shrunk fabric and an anti-microbial treatment. They were kind enough to ask BJJ Legends Magazine to review one of their gis, and I chose the one in blue. I’ve been practicing Jiu-Jitsu for just over 6 years and have about a dozen gis already in rotation, but was happy to try a new product -- especially at the nominal price point of only $69.99.
All of my reviews center around 4 key attributes, followed by an overall impression of the product at the end. The attributes include:
Look: What kind of audience does this product target within the Jiu-Jitsu community and what’s unique about it? How does it look out of the box? Emotional impressions?
Craftsmanship: How well was it built? Are there any loose threads? Compare fresh out of the box and after a few washes. Does it stain easily; is it soft; durable; etc.?
Feel and Fit: How does it feel when worn and how does it fit in relation to other products, both walking around and while sparring? Is it too heavy, too light, etc.? Does shrink play a factor?
Care: How can you get the most out of your purchase and is it worth it?
Today, I’m reviewing the Elite Sports Ultra-Light BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi with Pre-Shrunk Fabric - Blue. Coming in an IBJJF-legal royal blue with an orange and white color way, this kimono makes a great first impression to the eye and is incredibly inexpensive at only $69.99. Because of the entry level price point and relative newness in the market, I didn’t have high expectations for the gi. After putting it through its paces, washing over 15 times and rolling in it exclusively for almost a month, I was able to come to a rather unexpected conclusion.
Before we get into the review, here’s how the company describes the gi: • Made from a light-weight 400gsm Pearl Weave preshrunk fabric. We still recommend that you wash the gi in cold water and hang dry it. • Lightweight pants are made from 400 gsm ripstop fabric and have a rope drawstring for tightening. • Contrasting and reinforced stitching in seams and other key areas for durability and added strength. • Fabric has anti-odor and antimicrobial treatment so that you don't have to worry about bacterial buildup or fungal infections; no one else is doing that at this price. • Comes with a free white belt.
When I unboxed the gi, I found a no nonsense approach to packaging. Opening the cardboard box, the gi sat nicely therein, within its clear bag. And while it didn’t come with a gi bag, a new white belt was included and, combined with the price point, is a nice touch for new practitioners.
The pants are a lightweight ripstop, as advertised. I appreciate a thick rope drawstring and this is no exception. While the branding is minimal on the gi overall, the Elite logo is visible on either side of the pants, stitched in nicely. With two drawstring loops on either side, I was happy with the way they were designed. Too often, I’ve found that companies either go overboard with belt loops, or make them too narrow to fit the rope comfortably. None of these issues were present on the Elite gi. As with most ripstop pants, the knees and mid-thigh are reinforced with additional quilted stitching, using an orange contrast thread. All areas that are supposed to be triple stitched – interior seams and the gusset, were done so with care. It’s also important to note that the bottom cuff is quadruple stitched for additional strength! Well done!
The jacket is simple, coming in at 400 gsm. I was surprised when taking it out of the packaging just how light it was. The orange contrasts are really helpful to give an entry level gi some needed pop. This is seen on the inside of the cuffs as well as in all contrast stitching, and at the splits in the skirt. At the top of the jacket, inside the back panel, Elite has added an orange logo section for an additional bit of flare. Their logo is seemingly everywhere on the jacket, however – three times on the front, stitched in with patches or embroidered along the lapel, then again on the back between the shoulder blades, embroidered in white thread. Inside, along the bottom seam of the jacket, their twin logos (with and without the phoenix design) revolves. In the way of branding, it’s a tiny bit overdone, but also confusing. Both logos are used interchangeably here but as a consumer, is there a primary logo or are both equally important? Further, on the back panel, the jacket notes that it was ‘Designed in California,’ but the front of the jacket, at the bottom of the lapel, states ‘Brazilian Design.’ Overall though, I was happy at the look of the jacket – there are no giant design flourishes and it’s simple in presentation. Tied together, the pants and jacket make a nice, clean match.
For $69.99, I was expecting many loose threads and poor craftsmanship from Elite right out of the box. I’m happy to report that I was sorely mistaken. I couldn’t find a single loose stitch within the bunch, and the material was light, strong, and well-tailored to my needs. There is a small tag within the jacket that denotes that it was made in Pakistan – as many other gi companies are producing their products there, I was pleasantly surprised at the durability of the gi. As I stated above, I’ve worn it exclusively during my testing period and it had no issues. On the pants, I liked the extra cuff stitching and the pearl weave jacket is just as strong as the $200 gis I have hanging in my closet – and at a lower weight per gsm to boot.
Feel and Fit:
I’m 5’7”, 155 lbs without the gi and asked for an A1. Elite is using a tailored fit that hugged the inside of my underarms a bit at first, but was overall very slimming and easy to move in. The pants fit comfortably, just as any other pair of ripstop pants, and were the appropriate length. Overall, I was very impressed with the gi at unboxing and through the first large set of test cases. While it isn’t the softest gi on the market, that isn’t the demographic Elite is tailoring to. Mind you, it’s soft enough that you don’t need a rashguard underneath, especially in the summer, but after hanging the pearl weave can be a little strong until it’s broken in. If you have any questions on fit or feel, you can always call or email them from the site and ask whatever questions you might have. I also found the gi nice and durable as I’ve used it twice or three times a week since I got it and have had no issues. Additionally, the lightweight 400 gsm jacket is great for the hot, summer weather and breathes well.
It’s important to note in this section that the company specifically notes that the gi has been hit with an antimicrobial treatment so that you don’t have to worry about fungal infections or bacterial buildup. This translates, at least to me, as whether or not the gi will smell badly after a hard session and then sitting in my car during a hot afternoon (smell = bacteria). After such an event, the gi did smell like it was used, but not nearly as badly as some of my kimonos. As I shower immediately after class, I had no chance to test the antimicrobial function outside of that. For the price point though, the added peace of mind is worth it.
As with any gi, I soaked it in vinegar and water when I first received it, washed it, then hung dry it without any shrinkage whatsoever. After 10 normal washes, I decided to dry it with a machine dryer. While it is recommended on the site that you should hang dry your gi, I opted to give it the hang dry test since it’s advertised as pre-shrunk and the dryer logo is within the care instruction panel on the jacket itself.
During this wash is when I noticed fading begin to take root – nothing major, but the pop and crispness of the colors began to deteriorate. On top of that, the jacket sleeves shrunk by about half an inch. Bear in mind that I dried the gi on high heat and didn’t bother to use Permanent Press or some other low setting. I don’t believe the average consumer would need to worry about shrinkage based on normal gi care, but be prepared to see differences in fitment and color when throwing it in the dryer for an emergency wash before your next roll.
I was pleasantly surprised by this gi, its fit and craftsmanship, and the overall durability. At such a low price point, I would definitely recommend it to new practitioners, or anyone in the market for something affordable that will hold up relatively well, so long as you don’t put too much stock in the pre-shrunk messaging. For more information on Elite Sports and their offerings, please see their web site: http://www.elitesports.com. To get directly to their gis, go to https://www.elitesports.com/brazilian-Jiu-Jitsu-bjj-gis
With the aiming of taking MMA and Jiu-jitsu fashion appeal to a higher standard in comes Veni Vidi Vici (VVV Fight Co). VVV Fight CO was established in 2010.They started six years ago with a vision of creating a brand that represented their passion for the sport. They try to better our fight community and have become a globally-recognized company.
Continuing to push their movement VVV Fight Co brings to you their latest kimono the Black Paladin Gi. The Paladin Gi was inspired by what and who we are as modern day warriors training on the mats.
Our review of the VVV Fight Co. Paladin Kimmo; here are all the details on the evaluation we conducted.
The Paladin GI
The VVV Paladin Kimono Jacket has a simple stunning appearance. Made out of 450 GSM pearl weave material the uniform jacket is light. It is cut slim, has a tough to grip lapel and reinforced seams cover all areas making the jacket capable of withstanding the toughest training and competing conditions.
There is a vintage logo on left side of the lapel jacket and the right side of the sleeve. Flipping over to the back side you will find VVV's inspiring motto "TRUST THE PROCESS EMBRACE THE JOURNEY" located at the bottom of the jacket. Aside from the bottom message imprint and the small Spartan insignia on the top, the back of the gi is left blank for pasting academy and sponsor logos.
The Paladin jacket has a mesh liner back piece. Wearing a gi with a mesh liner it is similar to wearing a rash guard; it provides even more comfort and absorbs sweat during training sessions.
The Paladin GI Pants are made out of a very light weight durable 12oz twill oz. cotton material. The paints are reinforced from the groin to the ankle with a pearl weave gusset. The knees are also reinforced. These reinforced stress zones keeping the gi in perfect working condition for endless mat time.
The Paladin is equipped with four thick belt loops offering extra tightening from the left to the right side of the waistline and decreasing the chance of your pants falling off while training.
Size & Shrinkage
With sizes ranging from A0 to A5 the Paladin size chart accommodates most height and weight measurements. We found the gi sleeves a little long aligning slightly passed the wrist line while the pants will be right at the ankle line.
Washing instructions: when placing it in the washer it is recommended to wash the uniform alone in cold water and hang drying it afterwards. Most kimono purchasers such as myself have had our share of issues washing black gis as the color fades turning a once solid black into a fading grayish black appearance. This is will not be a concern with VVV's Paladin gi as it maintains it same appearance after washing.
After a thorough examination of this uniform, it is safe to say that VVV's Paladin is a good buy most Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner’s collection. It is perfect for training, IBJJF approved, and affordable at the price of $145. The gi is a bargain buy for anyone hoping to save money while enjoying the benefits of owning a top quality gi.
The Paladin is VVV Fight Co.’s second kimono release.
Mackenzie Arrington’s cheeky BJJ Cookbook Eat Well, Train Hard wins by submission early in the match. Read the review.
I train. I love to eat. I enjoying cooking and I collect cookbooks (mostly antique). Reviewing Eat Well, Train Hard by Mackenzie Arrington is a good fit for my skill set.
First, I am impressed. The recipes are legit. These are down to earth, protein rich, big meals. There is a section on prep. Notice the Zebra mat cutting board? Nice little Easter egg.
These are hearty meals. This cookbook is not for dieting. These meals pack lots of sustaining energy. While reading through I thought who could eat this much? A 18-35 year-old male who’s training 4x a week, that’s who. It is perfect for our target demographic. If you are more in the market to lean-out you can still use these recipes and cut down on the portion size.
While we are talking about 18-35 year-olds, maybe you aren’t comfortable around anything larger than a steak knife, maybe you haven’t boiled water, or maybe you are just tired of chicken out of your George Foreman grill, either way the cookbook will help you navigate the kitchen, use a proper knife and inspire you to make tasty meals. Best of all these will be wholesome meals without any preservatives or added sodium.
Mackenzie is a legit chef and he is sharing his passion for cooking. He has an associates in culinary arts and a bachelors in hospitality and restaurant managements. He has worked for Momofuku, Eleven Madison Park, he opened The NoMad, and The Dutch in NYC, and has worked as a consultant and personal chef once out of restaurants there. He is the only two-time Maine Lobster Chef of the Year. He has been on Good Morning New York on FOX cooking, on CBS morning shows and was an on-air guest for QVC. He lives in Buffalo NY and is a purple belt training out of Alliance at WNY Mixed Martial Arts under Matt Godden and Mike "dubs" Dauenhauer. His best ranking was 6th, super heavy blue belt. He is a writer for Jiu-Jitsu Mag.
Where Mackenzie needs to drill more is photos of the dishes. I would love to see a pic of the finished product so I can leaf through and look at all the yummy food. Also, and this is more of a wish list item, I’d like to know nutrition information per dish, just how many calories and how much protein.
Support a fellow BJJer following his passion. Buy Mackenzie’s cookbook pdf. At $12.99 it is a bargain. Here’s the link http://bit.ly/1RTf4wk. Go now buy. Your stomach will thank you.
Mackenzie would like to thank his wife-to-be Moe, because without her constant support this book and grapplergourmet.com would not exist. And to thank his sponsors Q5 sports nutrition, Inverted Gear, and Datsusara for their continual support. (->There are discount codes at the end of the book for each of the sponsors.<-)
Read the review: Datsusara Hemp Combat comes with effective rough gi rash for your training partners but unfortunately this wears off after a handfull of washes. Its a specific gi for a specific grappler.
To leave the corporate workers life.
Whether in combat, on vacation, taking a hike or simply dealing with a daily commute, Datsusara has the gear to get you through. Datsusara gear is not for everyone – if “making do” is good enough for you, then we are not your brand. Our gear may not be essential, but you may discover it’s the gear that you’ve always wanted.
If living your life with purpose outside the cubicle is important, Datsusara is for you.
A snippet from the DSgear website.
DATSUSARA Is a Japanese phrase that expresses the desire “to leave the salaried/corporate worker's life".
Datsusara’s mission is the creation of extremely high quality, functional gear made with hemp textiles. Datsusara gear features hemp for a multitude of reasons. In short it is the most versatile and useful natural fiber on the planet. It is naturally anti-microbial, strong, breathable and very environmentally friendly.
Let’s get to the review.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING
100% Hemp Combat Gi
I will be reviewing the A3 Natural White Gi
I am 92 kgs and 184cm tall, or 202llbs and 6’1
Made of durable 100% Hemp
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu style weave and cut
Jacket made of a 17oz (580gsm) long fibre weave
UVA Foam collar.
Reinforced stitching for strength and durability
Pants made of 11oz (376gsm) long fiber twill
Braided cord draw string, easy to get in and out of
Reinforced stitching for strength and durability
Machine washable: Due to the properties of the hemp blend the gi actually gets softer and more comfortable with each wash while retaining its strength, it wears in rather than wearing out
Machine wash cold
Do not iron or dry clean
Have the possibility to shrink a little depending on wash method.
FIRST LOOK IMPRESSIONS:
At first look I was a little turned off. The natural white colour of the Gi to me gave off an unwashed look. Upon feeling the material I found it to be quite rough and when I put the jacket on I noticed almost straight away that this material was the type that wasn’t going to be suitable for me unless I had a rash guard on under it. I then had a look through the care instructions and noticed a recommendation to wash the Gi twice before use. Off the laundry I went. After the first wash I pulled it out and had a feel before hanging it out to dry, and noticed a little softening had occurred. It didn’t take as long as I expected to dry and with one more wash with some added fabric softener it felt softer again. Once it dried I put the jacket on and instantly noticed the difference, although I still felt the need to put a rash guard on.
FIRST WORKOUT AND ROLL:
The fit of the Gi was nice although I did find it a little loose around my shoulders and noticed that the jacket slid of my shoulders quite a bit, this led me to develop a conscience about my broadness and led me to destroy my shoulders in the weights workouts that followed so thank you Datsusara for that. This was the first Hemp Gi I had seen and was very excited to roll in it. People within my club have started to notice that ever 4 or so weeks I have been bringing out a new gi and begun to ask questions. I let them all know that it was 100% hemp and as you could imagine the jokes began to come. I didn’t realise that not only do I train at an amazing club with some awesome people but we also have quite a lot of comedic talent with in the club. I think some of them may have missed there calling, well except for Zach who actually does quite a bit of stand up on the local scene. One recommendation was that we close all the doors to the gym and I do hip escapes up and down the mats for a while and see what happens. Back to the Gi. After a gruelling 2 hour session on the mats I had a new respect for Hemp material it was quite a warm night and with the rashie on I was surprised how cool I stayed and how soft the Gi got in just the one session. The Gi has a total combined weight of around the 2kg mark which I found quite nice.
Rolling in this Gi was a fun experience its sturdy design and ability to breathe was great, however the heat in the gym combined with the rash guard seen me sweating up a storm. After a few weeks of rolling in this Gi it began to really grow on me, however with the warmer weather I think it is definitely a cooler climate gi, for me anyway. The feedback from my training partners was also all positive however the one thing that came up early in the piece was the roughness of the Gi if it was on their face, these complaints started to disappear the more it was washed. The colour of the Gi was also noted with a 50/50 response, me personally it grew on me.
WASH AND FIT:
With the washing of the Gi the Datsusara website states that due to the properties of the hemp blend the Gi actually gets softer and more comfortable with each wash while retaining its strength, it wears in rather than out. I honestly thought this was a marketing phrase however I found this statement to be 100% true. Wash after wash the Gi got more comfortable over time. I wash all of my Gi according to the instructions on the tag and with this it states 30c wash.
1. Will not shrink on you.
2. Customer service you receive will be amazing. Chris literally shipped this Gi half way across the world and checked in to ensure I received it.
3. Gets softer and softer after each wash bring you to new levels of comfort each training session.
4. Hemp is environmentally friendly.
The colour seems to put a few people off.
The material can be found rather rough in the first few sessions.
You will notice all the comedians come out when you mention the 100% Hemp.
Over all this Gi is a high quality Gi. This one will be either one you like or you don’t. If you are not a natural white fan you also have the option to purchase the Black Combat Gi which looks quite nice. All in all this was a great Gi to train in however the Gi rash that came from it in the early phase before many washes may upset your more “sensitive” training partners. If you are in a cooler climate then this Gi would be perfect its medium weight and ability to breathe would make it a great training necessity on the chillier evenings. Overall I award the Combat Gi 3 Gis out of 5.
If you would like to take a look at the other gear Datsusara have to offer why not head over to www.dsgear.com to take a look at the combat Gi a whole lot more 100% hemp gear that they have to offer.
Have you ever trained using a grappling dummy? If not, then why?
When you really sit back and look at these wonderful training tools, it’s easy to see why so many people find the benefits in them and how they can improve your MMA game rapidly!
Between putting an emphasis on your skills and fighting game, there are also other benefits that come with training with grappling dummies.
How MMA Fighters Can Benefits From These Tools
Training for any sport can be what makes you great that should come as no surprise. However, in a sport such as Mixed Martial Arts, which is an ever evolving sport with each passing day, how do you find the edge that other fighters don’t have?
By bringing a grappling dummy into your training mix, you’re adding something that provides you the opportunity to continue training for specific techniques, but also allows you to slow it down and really master the skill you are targeting.
For instance, grappling dummies can be excellent for practicing your throws. Sometimes in live training, it can feel awkward training with another human, because throwing someone doesn’t always feel normal, but with a dummy, you are able to work yourself out of that awkward stage, and into a more comfortable feel than you otherwise would.
Also, it allows you to be able to literally stop right in the middle of specific reps and see what you may be doing right or wrong. By having this luxury, you can start to find the holes in your game, and you can now start working towards those issues in order to become a better grappler than you would have been without the dummy.
Not only are you able to work on your overall grappling game—in this scenario as we already discussed, we’d be focusing on your throws—you are getting much more than just the added skills to your arsenal.
Most of the grappling dummies out there on the market are pretty life like, both in terms of limbs and weight! If you’ve ever seen one of these bad boys laying around your gym but never used it, go ahead and give it a lift next time you see it…you may be surprised as to how heavy they can be!
You can imagine that after throwing these guys around a few times, that weight really starts to add up! The first few sessions you use it, you may have some problems with it after a few reps—and will likely be a little sore the next morning—but you’ll soon realize that all of a sudden it isn’t so bad anymore, and you’re rag dolling that sucker all over the gym!
Having a grappling dummy is something that provides two benefits in just one tool. I’m an advocate for strength training with a purpose, and using a grappling dummy is something that delivers that purpose!
You’ll develop some great strength and conditioning, but you’re also pinpointing specific skill driven needs that will help you evolve inside of the cage. At the end of the day, by adding muscle to your frame and improving upon your skills, the evolution is truly something you need.
Ground Fighter specializes in unique, creative, and minimalist designs on products made with the highest quality materials. Our clothing is durable, comfortable, fashionable, and doesn’t cost a fortune. We know you have lots of choices when it comes to gear. Our hope is that you’re drawn to us because of the passion and creativity we put into our products and that you’ll stay with us because of our quality and customer service. This week`s review of Ground Fighters Inaugural Gi the much anticipated "Northern Lights".
A snippet from the GroundFighter.net website.
Ground Fighter Grappling Gear Ready Set Roll
Ground fighting is its own unique culture made up of passionate enthusiasts around the world who thrive for the battle on the mat. Ground Fighter is an athletic apparel brand founded on that same passion, created specifically for grapplers by grapplers. We’re lifelong ground fighting fanatics who in 2009 decided that we were tired of waiting around for a brand to produce quality clothing that matched our style, budget, and love for the sport.
Let’s get to the review.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING
Ground Fighters “Northern Lights” Inaugural Gi Release I will be reviewing the A3 White Gi I am 92 kgs and 184cm tall, or 202llbs and 6’1
Jacket Details • 420 GM pearl weave top (single piece) • Sublimated, moisture-wicking shoulder/vent liners • EVA foam collar • Woven taping inside of jacket skirt • Reinforced stitching in high wear areas • Green contrast stitching
Pants Detail • 10 oz drill pants • Pearl weave gusset • Reinforced knee padding • Green rope drawstring with 6 belt loops FIRST LOOK IMPRESSIONS: When I opened the package from Ground Fighters I was pleasantly surprised to see a handwritten note from the Vice President of the brand wishing me the best with my new Northern Lights Gi along with a few stickers and a bar of handmade Soap. Instantly I took a liking to the brand as it is rare to find that level of customer service in the competitive market of fight gear. First look at the Gi with its bright white with green contrast stitching was definitely a very unique look but it was the bright colours of the Northern Lights in the top half of the jacket that really caught my eye. If you, like me also have children that train it would look equally as good on either a boy or girl and Ground Fighter have now released a child’s version of this Gi. When I felt the Gi for the first time I was supremely surprised to feel the softness of the collar the Jacket itself was a little stiff so I threw it in the wash before line drying it. No shrinkage occurred at all. Then it was time to put the Gi in its Northern Lights Gi bag and head of and train.
WORKOUT AND ROLLING PERFORMANCE: The fit of the Gi was quite comfortable, and after the wash the jacket was very soft. When I got this Gi it was coming to the end of winter here in Australia and my first night training in it was a touch colder than usual. On this night I decided I would put a rash guard under the Gi, which for me is a rare occurrence. I am not sure if it was because of this but I found that the Jacket was constantly sliding of my shoulders, which during rolls I found rather annoying.
During my second and further sessions in the Gi I have not worn a rash guard and the slipping off the shoulder has not occurred. The more I have trained in this Gi the more I have come to love it and out of all of the Gis I own this one has worked the way to my number one pick for training. Due to its lightweight design I packed this Gi into my bag when I went on a four week trip overseas just recently, the design of the Gi caught many eyes as I was asked about it time and time again and was happy to send them to Groundfighter.net for further info. Rolling in this Gi was a pleasurable experience its light weight and ability to breathe meant I didn’t find myself overheating or sweating as much as normal. The feedback from my training partners was also all positive with the softness of the collar being noted time and time again.
When I get my next competition Gi I will be definitely looking towards another Northern Lights based purely on the comfort of the Jacket and softness of the collar, combined with the light weight construction and the fact that is IBJJF approved I believe this Gi would rival any of the larger brands. Being the first Gi released by Ground Fighter Grappling Gear I for one am excited about what is on the horizon for this exciting brand out of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.
FIRST WASH AND FIT: With this Gi the website states clearly never to tumble dry, which suits me fine I still can’t bring myself to do it even though some brands say it is safe on low heat. The Northern Lights Gi is very light in weight and when hung out correctly I have found is dry almost 100% over night.
Even with the Gis that say wash in cold water there have been times when some of these Gis have shrunk and I am pleased to report that this Gi has not shrunk at all in the month and a bit I have been training in it. I aim to train in all of my review Gis at least 3 times a week where possible. The Northern Lights has been more then put through its paces and has handled itself very well. There have been many occasions over the past 5 weeks where blood has been spilt on it, both a combination of my own and my training partners (more often than not it is my own). When this has happened I have put in the wash straight away on COLD cycle and not one stain has locked itself into the Gi, it has managed to hold its pristine white colour really well.
As mentioned earlier the Gi has not shrunk at all since its first use/wash, and still fits nicely.
THE GOOD: 1. Will not shrink on you after a wash allegedly even if put in the dryer. 2. Eye Catching Northern Lights Design printed on the inside of the Jacket. 3. Light Weight Construction and IBJJF approved. 5. Remains white and doesn’t hold contaminations of you rigorous training sessions.
THE BAD: 1. Priced a little higher on the market (but the customer service you will receive makes it worthwhile). 2. Has potential to slip of shoulders during training (mine at least when worn over rash guard).
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is the second light weight Gi I have tested out and am extremely happy with its performance. The Northern Lights Gi has become my number one pick out of my collection so far. If I didn’t have a competition Gi patched up or I competed a little more, I would have a Northern Lights Gi patched up and ready to roll. I look forward to training more in this Gi as the weather starts to heat up down under. Its Lightweight construction makes it great for the travelling practitioner/competitor. If you would like to take a look at this Gi in a little more detail head over to www.groundfighter.net. While you’re there be sure to check out the rest of the range that this sensational brand has on offer.
I’m sure that we’ve all been in the same situation before where we learn a new technique and something isn’t clicking, no matter how hard we try to focus on the details we often overlook. With tons of mat time and research, there is still something that isn’t making sense. At a stand-still, you’re ready to pass up on learning that technique and move forward.
However, times are changing thanks to the iGrapple Mobile app.
Recently released, the iGrapple is a fantastic tool that every single one of us Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players can use in order to take the next step forward in our skill development.
If you go back to the first paragraph and think to yourself, “Hey, that’s me!” when it comes to learning new techniques, then you’re in luck because the iGrapple is here to eliminate any issue that you may face in learning.
With a very classroom-like approach to grappling, the app does a fantastic job of breaking everything down so that even the most basic white belts out there can soak up the moves and implement them in a heartbeat!
Today, I’m reviewing the Submission FC Ranked rash guard; on their site, they note it’s made from “Recycled Polyester / Spandex blend” and is priced at $64.99.
Look: Upon opening the package and examining the rashie, I was immediately drawn to the design. The logo is featured prominently across the chest and again, much larger, down the center of the back. On top of that, the logo is also found throughout the product in a much smaller, nearly invisible font. Overall, it’s clean and understated. If you’re into large type-face and a clean design, you might like this.
From the site, Submission FC notes a “tear-away tag” – I noticed the tag to be overly large and made from what I can assume is some sort of recycled wood-pulp material. It was extra thin and looks very unique to this product. It lay well against the skin while I was wearing it and found no need to tear it away.
Craftsmanship: Out of the bag, I noticed some seams that weren’t lined up as well as some blue spotting along a couple of seam lines. I believe the latter may be a result of the sublimation process and found it to only affect aesthetics. However, one white thread actually came off at examination and, after only one roll – not one night of rolling, but the first roll of the evening – a long thread came loose from the seam and hung from the end of the sleeve. After one wash, it didn’t get any worse; I was able to cut the blown seam from the rash guard and continue unimpeded. That said, I was very disappointed with the overall craftsmanship of this product and hoped it would have been produced to higher standards.
Feel: I’m 5’7”, 170 lbs without the gi and asked for a medium. Pulling it over my head, I found it to be of a comfortable cut and provided the range of motion needed for training. Compared to some of my other rash guards, Submission FC’s felt thinner and breathed better while providing a similar level of comfort. Overall, I try to avoid long-sleeve rashies because I don’t like the lack of breathability that comes with them, but this was actually a pleasure to wear. As advertised, the product is extra-long and I had no issues with ride up during training.
Care: I tossed this rash guard in with the rest of my usual Jiu-Jitsu laundry and it was none the worse for wear. It suffered little to no shrink and, because the logos are sublimated, there was no design flake to speak of. However, the next time I wore the product, I noted a bit of scratch around the neck and wonder if this could be a sign of things to come based on the craftsmanship issues mentioned earlier.
Overall: If it weren’t for the poor craftsmanship of this rash guard, I would have no issue with it. It wears comfortably, is cut well and doesn’t shrink in the wash; the extra-long length doesn’t ride up after intense drilling and it is of a neat and clean design.
That said, craftsmanship is one of the most important aspects of purchasing any product and I wouldn’t recommend putting 65 hard-earned dollars down just to have seam issues the first time you wear your new rash guard. If Submission FC can get past these issues, fix their seams and ensure each product shipped is of the highest caliber, I can see this becoming a regular rash guard in my rotation.
Anthem Athletics rashguard is a great light weight rash guard -- if your a man. Our female review found it was still light weight, dried quickly and long enough to cover the belly in most all positions but too big in the shoulders. Melissa Davis is a purple belt under Giva Santana at Lotus Club in Irvine.
My boyfriend (Brazilian black belt and Lotus Club member Fernando Travessoni) reports that the men’s version of this rash guard fits great, is light weight and is very comfortable.
In keeping with the reputation of my gender (or perhaps with the increased difficulty in fitting women’s bodies with tight, thin fabric), I have a bit more to say.
Super light-weight, breathing fabric adds very little to your weight and does not maintain much moisture on your body as some thicker rashies can do
Long torso keeps the tummy under wrap when you are in the most flattering of inverted belly fold making poses
Suffers from the common women’s rash guard syndrome – it has that extra shoulder fabric and lack of curve hugging that tends to occur when the women’s rash guard is just a smaller version of the men’s pattern. Not nearly as bad as others I have experienced, but still not a totally flattering fit.
-[EDITORS NOTE: This is the mens small rash guard. Anthem Athletics has informed BJJ Legends that they are is working on a women's rash guard. We look forward to comparing and reviewing the new women's rashie when it comes out.]-
This is a great basic rash guard with nice fabric and a good long torso for coverage. If you are a dude it has no real downside. Its light weight and fits great and is comfortable. If you are a woman, it is still light weight and comfortable, but not completely fitted for your feminine bits or lack of masculine bits. For girls I would go a size smaller to minimize the extra shoulder and waist fabric and it should be about 90% of the way to a well fitted rashguard. Since the torso is long you won’t lose tummy coverage with a smaller size. (I am 5'6" and about 135 lbs with a very long torso and slightly larger than average shoulder width, ~34C chest. I am usually a size small in rash guards, and am wearing a size small Anthem Athletics rash guard in the photos).
Since I own 3 other gi’s made by 93 Brand, Kris Shaw, whom I train with at Tinguinha Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Yorba Linda, CA and also the owner of BJJ Legends Magazine asked me to review the latest gi by 93 Brand, the Zodiac. I haven’t wrote anything other than a email since my last English final essay in college 15 years ago, hopefully I don’t make too much of a mess out of this.
Manufacturer’s description of the gi: The gi features a 350gsm pearl weave gi top, 10oz rip stop pants, and interior yoke panel plus customers get to choose from any of the twelve circular zodiac patches designed by BJJ artist Meerkatsu.
First impression: When I took the gi out of the bag, it felt very light. The gi is minimally patched, which I prefer, and the color combination of white and blue look sharp. There is a small strip of patches on the shoulders with the company name. The side vents on the gi top and the gi pants have blue tape with stars on them to keep with the theme of zodiac. It kind of reminds me of the U.S. Air Force uniform. I don’t usually like ripstop pants due to being too stiff, but these pants felt softer than other ripstop pants I own. The gi also came with a patch with my zodiac sign, Aquarius, which depicts a guy holding a water jug. There are some cool looking patches that come with other zodiac signs, such as Pisces, Scorpio, or Leo, but as my luck will have it, I got a guy holding a water jug.
Measurements (all measurements in inches):
After 3 washes;
After 15 washes;
As you can see, there is minimal shrinkage with the gi. I always washed the gi with cold water. Gi top were always hung dried but the pants were put in the dryer at medium heat after the 3rd wash but the pants never shrunk.
Review: I have trained in this gi for three straight weeks, 5 times a week. This was possible due to the gi being so light that even after being washed and hung to dry, it usually dried within few hours. Although the material is very thin, I did not notice the gi being stretched when it was soaked in sweat and my training partners tugging on the sleeves/pants etc. As for the fit of the gi, I am 5’11” tall and weigh 165 pounds and the A1L fitted me like a custom made suit. I have gotten many compliments from my training partners regarding the look of the gi along with how great it fits.
Conclusion: If you need a great fitting, light competition gi or a gi that you can hang dry and wear every day, this will be a great addition to your collection. I can’t wait to patch it up with my school flag and add to my collection.
Submission Fight Co has had its share of ups and downs in the industry. Early this year they went under fire for the distribution of non-hemp kimonos which was later revealed was the result of a misleading distributor from Pakistan supplying them false merchandise without their knowing.
But like any ambitious company you learn from your shortcomings as there is always a solution to solving a problem. The recent release of the Submission FC BJJ Hemp T-Shirts paved the way for a fresh new start for the company which was received with a great response from the BJJ community. In their sole efforts in giving back Submission FC recently took part in a charity function known as Grapplethon: Team Liam's Fight .With over six Submission FC raffles prizes given away to some lucky winners the donated efforts also introduced its audience to the Submission FC Kimonos which included the Aura BJJ Gi Pants (Sold Separately).
The Aura BJJ Gi Pants are the newest addition to the Submission FC BJJ gear line. Available in black and white unlike it failed hemp predecessor model, these gi pants are made of polyester cotton blend and contain heavily reinforced stress points making these pants the perfect item for competition and everyday training.
When it comes to inquires about washing the BJJ Aura pants there is a simple procedure to follow. Be sure to wash the BJJ Pants in cold water with no excess in bleach. After taking them out the washer hang dry them in a cool shaded area especially if you plan on purchasing the black color model to keep its physical appearance without major fading afterwards.
With over three hours of training in the Aura BJJ Gi Pants at Liam's Grapplethon I can testify that these are the most comfortable and reinforced gi pants I have ever worn. From the tight draw string to the overall design layout of the pants it certainly won't disappoint the user. It felt great to not only have a great training session conformably but also not have to worry about the pants untangling off your butt every twenty seconds due to the lack of construction I have experienced in the past with other company kimono pants .
Rebounding off it past scrutiny Submission FC has made its return in grand fashion with the release of BJJ Aura Gi pants. Comfortable, Stylish, and Durable what more can a grappler ask for to get the best out of his training on the mat. Step by Step Submission FC is not missing a beat in re-establishing itself as a top contributor to the grappling community which product release thus far does just that.
All we can do at this point is sit and ponder as to what Submission Fight Co has in store for us next.
Well renowned and a bit controversial early this year Submission Fight Co was under fire for the distribution of selling non hemp kimonos to their customers. It was later revealed in a recent statement on their blog site that they were victim to a misleading distributor overseas in Pakistan that supplied them with the false merchandise without their knowing. Looking to rebound off its past scrutiny Submission FC is determined to make right of it wrongs to the BJJ community with future participation in charity events such as the upcoming “Grapplethon: Team Liam's Fight” and the release of its new BJJ Hemp T-Shirt collection which hopes to take the brand in a more positive direction and innovative in clothing fashion off the mat.
Their first batch of Hemp Shirts sets the tone in motion which I can concur combines all around comfort with stylish appeal in representing the BJJ lifestyle where ever you go. Top testing facility SGS Lab conducted a test on these new Hemp shirts. The results show that these shirts are made of 55 % Hemp and 45 % Organic Cotton. Now you may be asking yourself how this differs from other fabric material. For those that are not familiar, Hemp material carries a stronger, lighter, and is more resistant for retaining bacteria thus making it an all-natural shirt.
The shirts are Pre-Shrunk so the buyer won’t have to worry about the shirt shrinking after it comes out of the washer. Speaking of washing details from performing the procedure myself it is recommended to wash the shirt in cold water and hang dry it to prevent damage of the product thus retaining its appearance.
The physical features of the shirt are a standout quality that can attract any buyer. The artwork is what caught my attention which surprisingly carries a hidden message behind the design.
Probably inspired by the recent Sharknado craze Submission FC's Ocean Blue “The Ground is My Ocean" Shirt features a Shark springing out the water to attack his foe. The name behind the shirt is a famous quot by Carlos Machado* used many years ago clarifying his superb skills on the ground which adds deep value when you wear it something I’m sure every grappling practitioner carries with them especially when facing an opponent in competition.
The second model Submission FC's Natural White "If Size Mattered the Elephant Would Be the King of The Jungle" Shirt features a Roaring image of The King of the Jungle himself a Lion. Once again carrying a powerful meaning in its product, the message is a quote from another BJJ Legend Rickson Gracie which every person can identify with growing mentality, physically, and technically to become better as a BJJ fighter.
Comfortable, Stylish, All Natural, and Making a Strong Statement Submission Fight Co Hemp BJJ Shirts is everything a grappling practitioner could ask for. Without question their Gi's have made an impression on us all which looks to continue with the first batch release of these great Hemp shirts.
Looking forward to see what Submission FC has in store for us in the future.
Detales Gear Review: Buy Now! DETALES is a brand new athletic apparel company that makes clothing for female athletes who train and compete in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Sports bra: Medium (I am about a 34C-32D). I love this sports bra. It is super light-weight, but delivers heavy duty support. This combo of attributes is unusual and great for weigh ins when every ounce is a half a granola bar I can eat before competing! I was really impressed with how light and comfortable it felt, while still restricting motion affectively. It wicks moisture and resists getting stinky in the dirty clothes while waiting to be washed compared to my other sports bras as well. (Yes I did a dirty clothes smell test on laundry day and compared it to another very new, sweat-ified sports bra. Detales won!)
Rash Guard: Medium (I am 5'6", 135lbs, with an extra-long waist). This is my new favorite rash guard. The material is different than any other work out shirt I own, it feels very soft, but hugs like a rashguard is supposed to. It seemed on the short end for my long waist at first and I was worried it would ride up and expose my stomach while I trained, but I was wrong. It stayed put better than any of my extra-long rashies and training tops. The material is ridiculously comfortable and somehow manages not to move around while I do. The cut is also nice and the fit is flattering.
Grappling tights: Medium (I am 5'6", 135lbs, with short legs and a biggish booty and quads). I tried the black and the grey. I absolutely loved the fit. They are low rise which I find much more flattering and comfortable. The material is thin, but not see-through. I wouldn't recommend sweating heavily in the grey ones if you are wearing them by themselves (not under a gi or with shorts over), but the crotch-sweat-butterfly pattern is something basically any lighter colored work out pant has to offer, so no minus points there. The grey ones are great for under gi or with little shorts over. The black ones are my go to pants for lifting now. I really like the way they look on and despite the low rise, they don't threaten to expose any booty crack and distract me from deep squats. Feeling safe in your pants is also critical for no gi grappling, so these will be getting added to that wardrobe pile for me as well. They seem to have some pressure at points along the waist, leg openings and knees due to the stitching and I think that is what holds them in place so well. I would definitely purchase these babies. I am usually a medium or a small in work out tights and the medium was great for me, so if you are between sizes, go with the larger.
Compression shorts: Medium (I am 5'6", 135lbs, with short legs and a biggish booty and quads). These pinched in at the thighs just a bit, but since I only used them for under gi and no one could see the little fat squeeze, they were perfect. If I were going to wear them alone I would have gone a size larger for a sleeker look. As it was, unlike ALL other compression shorts, they did not ride up into a diaper g-string under my gi as I rolled. They stayed right where they were supposed to be. I especially love these for under my lighter white gis that can get a little see through after serious sweating. Most ladies have been there – smash passing with your sweaty gi butt in the air, knowing full well the sweat has made it semi-transparent and your granny panties have made their way into a less conservative arrangement... with these shorts everyone trying to sneak-a-peak can move along. Nothing to see here but some cute compression shorts that have stayed in place. These are also super light-weight and very comfortable with nice lines and details.
In San Bernardino CA, the Kids Worlds International Championships for kids and teens just wrapped up their 6th year. This year’s gi team trophies winners were: First place ATOS Jiu-Jitsu, second place United BJJ, third place Gracie Barra. In the no-gi category first place again went to ATOS Jiu-Jitsu, second place to United BJJ and third place to Ferny Jiu-Jitsu. Congratulations to these teams and all the competitors who made it onto the podium.
Kids Worlds is the work of a team led by Rommel Dunbar. Rommel is a four stripe black belt under Pedro Carvalho and a seven time world champion. He runs United Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with two locations in Moreno Valley and Riverside California.
At this year’s Kids Worlds there were over 1000 competitors with 239 gi divisions and 150 no-gi divisions. The youngest division was 2009 or kids that are 4-5 years old. The lightest weight class was 39.5 pounds. The array of weight classes / age groups was dizzying.
On Saturday, 9th degree coral belt, Francisco Mansor was at the Kids Worlds. He met and talked with kids and parents. Lucky kids got to take their picture on the podium with the famous coral belt.
All told there were 250 academies at the tournament and some six countries including Australia New Zealand, Dubai , Canada, Mexico, Brazil. The Kids Worlds tournaments follow IBJJF rules and regulations.
Conditioning and preparing yourself for competition has evolved over the years. We no longer have to worry about being fast and strong, but must micromanage and worry about the small things such as grip strength.
Grip strength is one of the things that can go a long way in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu if you know how to use it in your advantage. Just having it is one thing, but any good grappler would know just how it works and why it’s important to have it in your arsenal.
Having adequate grip strength can go a long way for a few different reasons:
Gi Grip: The Gi grip is a very valuable tool as it allows you the opportunity to dictate the opposition. Rather than trying to muscle up and test your overall strength, by simply grabbing hold of their Gi and controlling where they go, you are allowing yourself to be in command of the match without having to do too much and waste energy.
Submission Holds: How many times have you gone for a submission late in a match, only for your hands to slip due to the sweat buildup? This is a common issue we all face. By enhancing your grip strength, it may not eliminate the issues fully; it will at least cause a drastic improvement in your ability to apply last minute submissions.
While there are more reasons why the grip strength is a vital tool to grappling, these are the two main reasons that jump right to mind. By simply improving upon your grip strength, you will soon be able to control the pace of the match, and execute when you normally would face difficulty.
Don’t let the importance of grip strengths pass you by and starting working on them right now!
How To Develop The Grip Strength You Need
There are plenty of ways you can work on your grip strength. For instance, you can go to the gym with a couple of towels and do pull-ups using the towels rather than the actual pull-up bar. While very effective, this isn’t the most practical way to go about it. If you happen to be a bean farmer, this strategy may be helpful too, but I’m guessing your not.
Not every grappler has access to a gym or weight room every day, so being able to work on your grip strength without the benefits of a gym is something every grappler should have at their disposal.
One sure shot way to enhance your grip strength is by using the Finger Master. Easy to use and accessible almost anywhere, the Finger Master is a simple tool that fits right in the palm of your hand! With five triggers, it presents various levels of resistance where you simply have to push down with one finger at a time.
By doing so, you begin to improve upon your grips in no time flat!
What I love about the Finger Master is you can use it at home, at work, in the war, on the bus, you name it!
What’s better than a tool that allows you to progress anywhere you want at almost any time?